Start Your Business


The Rockford Region is a GREAT Place to Start Your Business!

Whether you have done it all before or this is your first foray into the world of entrepreneurship in the Rockford Region, the resources listed below can provide guidance and support.Everyone needs a little help from time-to-time and the resources listed on this page are here to help! Contact any of these organizations with questions you may have or if you are just looking for some advice when it is time to start your business.

NIU EIGERlab NIU EIGERlab is Northern Illinois’ comprehensive resource where both new and existing entrepreneurs and inventors collaborate with pioneering leaders to incubate and accelerate businesses. NIU EIGERlab ties together Innovation-Collaboration-Entrepreneurship into a centrally located, state of the art mixed-use incubator, serving the region with leading edge business and engineering support services.

The facility and programs assist in the development of a robust and diverse entrepreneurial culture through the collaboration of education, business and government.


IL_small_business_dev_center_-_sbdcThe Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is Winnebago, Ogle, Stephenson, and Boone counties’ central resource for business development and creation. The SBDC leverages a large network of resources to ensure the success of existing and start-up businesses that create jobs and grow our region’s economy.

  • Legal structure
  • Sales/Marketing
  • Operations
  • Accounting/finance
  • Commercialization
  • Market research
  • Human resources
  • Patents
  • Licensing
  • Business Planning

Rockford Local Development Corporation - RLDCRockford Local Development Corporation (RLDC) specializes in financing for small and mid-sized companies including SBA 504 financing along with managing several local loan programs.


PTAC - Illinois PTACThe Illinois Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) provides no-cost services to businesses in Winnebago, Boone, Stephenson, and Ogle counties. The PTAC can help determine suitability for government contracting.


IMEC - Illinois Manufacturing Excellence CenterIllinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC) helps manufacturers optimize operating capacity, implement advanced product and process innovations, increase sales and enter new markets, and improve profitability.